How the DA is hurting fibre-to-the-home in Pretoria

rpm

Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
64,869
How the DA is hurting fibre-to-the-home in Pretoria

If you want to roll out fibre in South Africa, you will need to apply for “wayleaves” — permission from local municipalities to trench along roads or access other public infrastructure.

Fibre network operators in South Africa are complaining that some metropolitan municipalities are making it difficult and, in some cases, very expensive to apply for wayleaves.

While complaining over wayleaves is nothing new for networking companies, what is new is a set of fees and tariffs from the City of Tshwane municipality.
 

Suspect99

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
5,437
DA doing what they do best. Increase fees.

Also:
DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Phumzile Van Damme, told MyBroadband that she has no knowledge of Tshwane’s increase in tariffs
:laugh::laugh:
 

cavedog

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
14,058
I thought SANRAL is hurting fibre roll out :unsure:

Guess we should add money, weather, landscape, expensive labour and so on to the list too.
 

Mista_Mobsta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
980
I am glad to see the companies are finally outing the trough feeding politicians. Any industry professionals that could elaborate as to what legalities there are regarding the tariff charges the municipalities are allowed to charge?
 

Hellhound105

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
2,948
I am glad to see the companies are finally outing the trough feeding politicians. Any industry professionals that could elaborate as to what legalities there are regarding the tariff charges the municipalities are allowed to charge?
And the explanation as to why. They aren't the ones doing the rollout and are already stealing money from working people to play around all day. Another reason I dont see why we should be paying tax.
 

Inertia

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
1,246
Maybe its because fibre installers are damaging water pipes and cables and this is a deterrent. I think Tshwane should rather just fine contractors that dont follow rules or damage property?
The problem is once they've damaged all the infrastructure, the installers say we don't have any money to fix this, sorry. Hence the need for bank guarantees and deposits.
 

Mista_Mobsta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
980
The problem is once they've damaged all the infrastructure, the installers say we don't have any money to fix this, sorry. Hence the need for bank guarantees and deposits.
Do you have any source material regarding the reasoning above? Logically it makes sense but what stats are the municipalities using to justify charging specific deposits etc? Surely the deposits must be held in trust or specific interest bearing account etc etc?
 

Gaz{M}

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
4,548
In the past year, I have seen 3 cases of major infrastructure damage caused by contractors (cut water mains). Just yesterday, a fibre contractor damaged electricity cables in Pretoria east. This costs a fortune to fix and costs the municipality lost revenue for those services that are unavailable.

While the wayleave costs are expensive, if you can't afford to put up the money, then you probably can't afford to fix damaged infrastructure either.
 

BlaQ_PhoeniX

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
262
How does this compare to the process in Cape Town (which is another DA municipality with rapid fibre rollout) ?
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
24,971
How does this compare to the process in Cape Town (which is another DA municipality with rapid fibre rollout) ?
Similar, I know FF wanted to microtrench in Parklands/Table View back in like 2016/17, and after years of struggle they were allowed a pilot project in the CBD that had to run for a while before they'd allow it anywhere else as worried about the road damage. Not sure if it's allowed yet.

Frogfoot also seems to hire a lot of shoddy contractors that keep damaging things, e.g. Vumatel I didn't hear of any burst mains in our areas due to them hitting it, I heard of only one case of Octotel hitting one though they did dig holes in front of people's driveways that stopped them from getting out, while Frogfoot hit multiple water mains, digging holes in driveways (they destroyed most of mine, but came back to fix it after I complained).

It's actually funny as when Vumatel came over, I told the dude hey, there are water mains there, be careful, and I saw him the day after with the contractors making sure they don't hit the pipes in that spot, meanwhile frogfoot two weeks later damaged it after I told them to be careful.

The R250 000 security deposit fee I don't see as high, that seems cheap to me if you need to be able to hire teams of people, fiber splicing equipment (which is very expensive), etc.

The fees for fiber that has been laid down do need to be explained though.
 

Jan

Drifting in the black
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
4,641
The problem is once they've damaged all the infrastructure, the installers say we don't have any money to fix this, sorry. Hence the need for bank guarantees and deposits.
In the past year, I have seen 3 cases of major infrastructure damage caused by contractors (cut water mains). Just yesterday, a fibre contractor damaged electricity cables in Pretoria east. This costs a fortune to fix and costs the municipality lost revenue for those services that are unavailable.

While the wayleave costs are expensive, if you can't afford to put up the money, then you probably can't afford to fix damaged infrastructure either.
The above is the reasoning I'm most frequently hearing for these changes to the way wayleave fees work. Sadly Tshwane was unresponsive, so they didn't go on record with that explanation. Do y'all work for government or the DA, perchance? ;)

So here's the follow-up question: Part of the wayleave process is that it allows the local government to know exactly who did work in a particular area, so that if there is damage they know exactly who caused it.

Why punish the whole industry instead of the specific FNOs/contractors causing infrastructure damage?

How does this compare to the process in Cape Town (which is another DA municipality with rapid fibre rollout) ?
As I understand it, Cape Town's process isn't much better, but they aren't asking the high security deposit yet.

I asked Van Damme whether the security deposit and per-km per annum fee was going to be a general DA strategy, but she declined to comment on any of my questions (as per the article).

The R250 000 security deposit fee I don't see as high, that seems cheap to me if you need to be able to hire teams of people, fiber splicing equipment (which is very expensive), etc.
If you need to apply for 20 wayleaves for one backhaul link, that cost can rack up very quickly. They've capped it at R3-million per year now, mercifully, but it is still a massive blow to your cash flow, with no indication from Tshwane what the process will be to get your money back.
 

garyc

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,574
Operators must apply for wayleaves based on what they can dig open and close back up on a single day.
Wonder if this is really the case in Tshwane? I drive down a road daily where Frogfoot have been (not very) busy for weeks. The open trenches and shade cloth are starting to become a long term feature. It doesn't seem like there is much incentive to finish.
 

Conack

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
1,474
Same **** happened in George with Frogfoot.

Municipality kept denying them - and when pressed, couldn't give any reason other than that "someone else" must still sign off on it - with that someone always rotating so it could never be accepted.

Smelled like they wanted a big bribe and Frogfoot didn't want to play ball, even though they offered loads of incentives.

They also mentioned the ridiculous wayleave situation. Took about 8 months to finally push it through due to pressure coming down from every angle on the municipality.

Despicable.

The sort of thing that will cost DA my and many other votes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jan

system32

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Messages
2,751
Need the money to pay the 18% salary increase for management and R7m ‘golden handshake’ for fired city manager Moeketsi Mosola
 

Mista_Mobsta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
980
From the looks of it, the contractors are the main chaps to blame for this whole state of affairs?
Piss poor workmanship with no municipal (engineering) supervision or oversight regarding where important infrastructure points are. It seems the municipalities are also being reactive regarding when things go wrong instead of being proactive to ensure things don't go wrong?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jan

Jan

Drifting in the black
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
4,641
Wonder if this is really the case in Tshwane? I drive down a road daily where Frogfoot have been (not very) busy for weeks. The open trenches and shade cloth are starting to become a long term feature. It doesn't seem like there is much incentive to finish.
I may not have been as verbose as I needed to be here... This is with respect to the actual hole. AFAIK the overall work may take longer than a day, but they need to be able to open and close the trench in a day.

As someone who has had his sht dug up and destroyed and put back together very poorly, I side with the municipality.
As a point of interest, what kind of damage are we talking? How much did (or would) it cost to repair?
 
Top